Real Madrid shrugged off a warm-up injury suffered by Gareth Bale to move back to within two points of leaders Barcelona on Sunday thanks to a 4-1 win over Getafe. Angel Lafita's deflected strike had given the visitors a surprise early lead, but Pepe and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty put Madrid in front at half-time before Isco and Ronaldo sealed the win in the second-half.
However, it was a frustrating day for Bale, who had been named in the starting line-up, as he was forced to miss what would have been his home debut at the Santiago Bernabeu after injuring his thigh in the warm-up.
"At the start it was a bit difficult for us going forward, but we came back and played better as the game went on," Asier Illarramendi, who was making his home debut, told Canal Plus afterwards. "We have scored four goals and we keep picking up points which is the most important thing."
Isco was drafted in to take the Welshman's place on the left side of a 4-4-2 formation and, despite the disruption, the hosts should still have been in front within three minutes when Ronaldo was denied by two desperate blocks at close range. The home side were stunned on six minutes though when Lafita's effort deflected off Pepe past the hopelessly wrong-footed Diego Lopez.
Madrid levelled in the 19th minute as Miguel Angel Moya could only parry Ronaldo's effort from Angel di Maria's free-kick and Pepe bundled home the rebound. Ronaldo should have made it 2-1 from a carbon copy free-kick moments later, but this time the Portuguese volleyed off target.
Di Maria then forced Moya into a fine flying save to his right as the Real pressure began to mount. And the hosts were in front on 33 minutes when Michel was harshly penalised for handling Ronaldo's driven free-kick inside the area. The Portuguese confidently dispatched the resulting spot-kick to move level with Mexican Hugo Sanchez as the club's fifth highest goalscorer of all-time on 207 goals.
Getafe came within inches of an equaliser four minutes later when Pedro Leon's thunderous effort from the edge of the area was deflected just over. However, Madrid were still well on top and Karim Benzema should then have given them a comfortable half-time lead when presented with a golden opportunity from Dani Carvajal's fine run and cross, but the Frenchman miskicked and Moya was able to make a scrambling save.
Real confident after the interval
Ronaldo had a fierce effort saved by Moya and Di Maria curled a free-kick inches wide as Real looked to put the game to bed at the start of the second period. Isco did finally give Madrid the two-goal advantage they craved when he ran onto Ronaldo's quickly taken free-kick and bent in his fifth goal in six games since joining the club.
Benzema displeased the Real faithful 18 minutes from time when he somehow headed over Alvaro Arbeloa's inch-perfect cross from just three yards out. However, the Frenchman atoned for his error as he released Ronaldo seconds later. The Portuguese forward appeared to go down under the challenge of Moya, but no penalty was given.
Getafe were reduced to ten men when Michel was shown a straight red card for denying substitute Jese Rodriguez a clear goalscoring opportunity five minutes from time. And the visitors' misery was completed deep into stoppage time when Ronaldo flicked home Sami Khedira's cross.